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X Factor: 5 Stocks Reaching Their Ex-Dividend Date on October 5

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Darden Restaurants, General Mills, and Verizon are on the list.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Many stocks will reach their ex-dividend date tomorrow, which is significant for investors as the seller of the stock on that date, not the buyer, receives the most recent dividend.

A stock must be bought one day before the ex-dividend date to claim any dividends that have been announced but not yet paid. The company determines on the record date, which usually occurs two days after the ex-dividend date, which shareholders qualify for the dividend. Shareholders listed as holders of record after the record date then receive their dividend on the date of payment established by the company. Those purchasing right before the record date forfeit the dividend and normally get the stock for a reduced amount.

It may seem an anachronism in this era of high frequency trading, but the dividend rate rules are in effect since it can still take up to three business days for transactions to be credited to and settled in an investor's account.

Below are five stocks that schedule October 5 as their ex-dividend date. All annual yields are estimated.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) yields 4.49% annually and has market cap of $131.85 billion. The global provider of communications, information, and entertainment products will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.515 on November 1, and its quarterly yield will be 1.11% based on yesterday's closing price of $46.28. The company has paid a quarterly dividend since 1984. Each dividend payment has either increased or remained the same from the prior quarter.

United Dominion Realty Trust (NYSE:UDR) yields 3.60% annually and has a market cap of $6.12 billion. The real estate investment trust, or REIT, will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.22 on October 31. Its quarterly yield will be 0.90% based on yesterday's closing price of $24.47. The REIT has paid a quarterly dividend since 1990. The dividend is down from a high of $0.33 in 2008.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) yields 3.59% annually and has a market cap of $7.16 billion. The operator of full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada will pay a quarterly dividend of $0.50 on November 1, and its quarterly yield will be 0.90% based on yesterday's closing price of $55.68. The company paid a semi-annual dividend from the second half of 1995 to the first half of 2007. After that, Darden switched to a quarterly dividend. Since the second half of 2007, each dividend payment has increased or remained the same.
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